Sure, we’re excited about becoming mothers, but many of us are apprehensive, nervous, darn right terrified. We have no idea how life is going to change and that can be scary. To put paid to some of those fears we asked JustKidding mums to tell us their ultimate pearl of wisdom – the one thing they wish they’d known before landing on planet parenthood. We had so many wonderful suggestions from you all, but in the end we could only pick our top twelve. Here are some of the things experienced mums really, really want mums-to-be to know.
Experienced mum tip #1: Mummy mornings are important
Look into mummy mornings before you give birth. In the first few weeks, simple things like bathing baby, or getting them into a routine can seem really scary, especially as the majority of us don’t have family around to give us guidance. Being able to meet up with other mums and get some support (as well as a coffee) is very important.
Cavell Higgens, mum of one
Experienced mum tip #2: It goes by so fast
Take lots of photos and videos and write down some memorable moments (good and bad). It’s such a whirlwind in the first six months and suddenly you’ll be looking back, trying to remember what happened to your tiny baby.
Charlotte Van den Broucque, mum of two
Experienced mum tip #3: You will grow to love breastfeeding
I set myself a target to breastfeed for six weeks, but never envisaged carrying on after that. However, when six weeks came around, both bub and I were really in our stride. 18 months on and we’re still going strong.
Catherine Sullivan, mum of one
Experienced mum tip #4: Not every moment is magical
It’s okay to love a specific aspect of motherhood, or to hate it, to want to freeze a moment forever, or never, ever experience that thing ever again. It’s all good. So ditch any guilt you may have and just be in the moment.
Angela Boshoff Hundal, mum of one
Experienced mum tip #5: Sleep when the baby sleeps
Sleep when the baby sleeps, no matter what time of day it is. Those multiple naps will ensure you have the stamina needed during the first six weeks. Without it you’ll feel and look like a zombie.
Mariuxi Romero, mum of three
Experienced mum tip #6: Cherish the moments
There are so many beautiful moments in motherhood, so try to collect as many memories as possible. Look at the way baby smiles at you, looks at you, holds your finger, searches for you in the room and communicates with you in a secret language only the two of you understand.
Asia Arsalan Bari, mum of two
Experienced mum tip #7: Milestones vary from child to child
It’s so easy to become obsessed with your child’s development, but it’s okay if your child doesn’t meet all the milestones the Internet says they should. My first son had delayed speech and I was utterly distraught about it. Then one day he just started talking and after that we couldn’t shut him up. Looking back I feel silly for being so worried about it.
Joanna England, mum of three
Experienced mum tip #8: You have nothing to prove
When I had my first child I was obsessed with showing people how capable I was. Just days after giving birth I had the brilliant idea of taking bub out to a restaurant with my girlfriends. Everyone praised me for being this ‘supermom’ but while I was all smiles on the outside, inside I was exhausted, drained and terribly emotional – not surprising considering I’d just given birth! Second time around I opted to do things differently. Instead of gallivanting around town, I sat on the couch and enjoyed lots of precious bonding time with my little one. The latter is definitely the better option.
Sarah Griffin, mum of two
Experienced mum tip #9: It’s full on
Everyone tells you that motherhood will change your life, but it’s only after you become a mum that it really hits you. Babies are entirely dependent on you 24/7 and at times that can be overwhelming. Fortunately for them, even when they’ve had you up every hour on the hour for an entire night, it’s difficult not to be love-struck.
Laura Egerton, mum of two
Experienced mum tip #10: Don’t worry about baby crying in public
If your baby has a meltdown in public, try not to worry too much about disturbing others. While the sound of your own baby crying is very distressing for you, other people are less tuned in to it, so they won’t hear it as loudly as you do.
Tabusum Saul, mum of one
Experienced mum tip #11: Everything is a phase
The phrase ‘this too shall pass’ springs to mind because you go through so many challenging phases with a newborn, and once you get the knack of one stage, it’s onto the next! The best thing to do is try to relax and go with the flow and enjoy your baby.
Faye Bartle, mum of one (and a half)
Experienced mum tip #12: There is no shame in asking for help
If you’ve got issues with breastfeeding, colic, or your baby isn’t sleeping, don’t suffer in silence. There are so many wonderful support groups and clinics aimed at new mums and you will find the answers if you look for them.
Farzana Ahlam, mum of three